Written by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV and Joshua Williamson
Art by Riley Rossmo and Marcus To
Colors by Hi-Fi
As predicted last week, issue #3 was jammed packed with plenty of action and plot development and made for a great story that moved at an incredible pace. This issue had the potential to be my highest rated issue of the series so far if it wasn’t let down by the art that featured in the first half of the issue. On its own, I was okay with it up until a point, and that point was when we got to the panels that featured Team Wonder and specifically Wonder Woman, where the art was actually taking me out of the story and making me question why they paired Riley Rossmo with Marcus To. Their styles could not be further apart, and when that happens, it starts to become about how much better one is versus the other. In my past reviews, I have always said that I am uncomfortable with art criticism because I cannot draw at all and understand how hard of a job it is, but I must question the decision to green light this pairing.
In issue #2 when Marcus To stepped in to help Francis Manapul, I thought it was a smart decision because their styles were similar enough. They both do quality work, and no one wants this series delayed because it is a weekly, but I guess the second roll of the dice was a gamble that did not pay off. The one saving grace was that Marcus To completed the second half of the issue which helped me to finish reading on a positive note. I really hope that most, if not all, of the final issue is penciled by Francis Manapul, which must be the case, otherwise he would have featured in #3 in some small part. With that said, I can now move on to the story review having got that off my chest.
The writing team of Snyder, Tynion IV and Williamson got the pacing exactly right in this issue because we got to learn so many things in such a small space of pages while setting up another cliffhanger for the final issue next week. Through the words of Vril Dox, we learn about Brainiac’s true motivations for forming the team and his backup plans for if he failed. Dox reveals that Brainiac saw an opportunity when the source wall broke to save and conquer his home planet once and for all. The suits he got all the teams to wear were designed so he could channel energy directly into himself. The suits are also programmed to absorb Dox to kill him and download his data to Brainiac and with the Cosmic Titans diverted from Colu under his plan to devour Earth it would leave him to rule the world without Earth being able to step in and stop him.
Back on Earth and at the Arctic circle, we learn that the seed’s activation will lead to the activation of four trees at four very familiar locations: STAR Labs, Belle Reve, The Tower of Fate and The Fortress of Solitude. Waller wants to drop a nuke on the seed to stop it from drawing the Cosmic Titans to Earth and Green Arrow is the only one with a slim chance of stopping her or convincing her that she’s wrong! <– All the best with that Ollie.
Returning to Colu and despite Dox’s proclamations that they will fail, the other three teams all start to make headway. The Tree of Wonder is alive thanks to the team believing in Diana’s strength and her beliefs. Team Mystery begin the process of extracting the lost cities that Brainiac captured, including Starfire’s home planet of Tamaran. Finally and most importantly, Team Wisdom believe they have found a way to subdue the tree and hold off the Titan looking to assert his authority on Colu. With an idea from Harley Quinn, Cyborg begins to try to extract all the data he can out of the tree of wisdom in the hopes of subduing it and de-powering the Wisdom Titan from taking down the whole planet.
With time running out, Starro decides to step up and be all that he can be and asks for Atom’s help in getting massively bigger as he attempts to conquer the Titan’s mind. Starro has the Titan on the ropes and is enjoying the fight, but he gets too cocky, and the Titan ends up ripping him in two! The teams decide to abort the mission as they all scramble to get back to the Brainiac’s ship and leave the planet’s orbit.
On a fantastic double page spread we see the Titan totally engulf the planet in what I can only describe as something similar to a star going supernova from within the belly of the beast. Numerous ships along with Brainiac’s ship escape the atmosphere as a massive KRAKOOOOOOOM belts out. Thank you Manapul and Hi-Fi for that gorgeous render. As the issue closes out on Earth, Oliver is stoic as ever as he tells Waller that he is going to contact the Green Lanterns to get back to Earth and help out with this world-changing event. Waller, ever the pessimist, retorts “You still don’t get it! If the trees have sprouted then the Omega Titans are already here.” The next panel is a shot of space as the three other Omega Titans cower menacingly over Earth.
The third chapter in this mini is a such a great story with pace that brings you right to the brink ready for the final issue. If it wasn’t for the the disappointing art choice for the first half of the issue I would have had no problem giving this issue a 9 or 9.5. See you in seven for the dramatic finale!
7.5 out of 10